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Wolfowitz, like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is attempting to tough out the storm. The former top Pentagon aide is desperate to keep his dream job, a reward from President Bush for his role as a key architect of the Iraq War. But he is under heavy fire for helping to promote his girlfriend to a State Department job earning $193,590 -- a huge raise and more than the annual salary for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The promotion was a way for Wolfowitz to try to resolve the conflict of interest created when he assumed the bank's presidency in 2005 while maintaining a relationship with Shaha Ali Riza, who worked for the World Bank.
Wolfowitz has made anti-corruption and good governance a top bank priority for struggling countries.
But to get a sense of just how serious the Wolfowitz scandal is in terms of those very results, ignore the senior management. Instead, imagine you're the poor schlub who serves as the Bank's representative in one of those impoverished, not-part-of-the-war-on-terrorism African countries that Wolfowitz has so vocally championed. Here in this sweaty, distant posting, you've been funneling loans to the country for things like rural electrification. But there's a problem: The minister for public works has been skimming 10 percent from all the contracts. His deputy gets another 5 percent. And so on and so forth, until all the country has to show for its electrification debts are a few gangly power lines that don't even work most of the time. So now you're paying him a visit in the finance ministry to chat. Arriving at the brand new secretariat, built last year by the minister's brother's construction firm, you're ushered back to his air-conditioned suite, past the empty offices nominally occupied by the presidential cronies who've been recently hired as consultants. As a servant pours you a cup of coffee--grown on the plantation the minister somehow managed to buy during a Bank-promoted privatization in the late 1990s--you read him the riot act.
Besieged by rising calls for his resignation, World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz met with the institution's senior management team behind closed doors yesterday to acknowledge problems with his leadership and offer to make significant front-office changes, several knowledgeable bank sources said.
When one participant suggested that Wolfowitz's departure would resolve the problems, Wolfowitz replied that he had no plans to resign and that leaving "under the current circumstances" would not help the institution. Instead, he offered to change his management style and the "structure" of his office. Several officials interpreted that as willingness to remove or limit the authority of two senior aides, former Bush administration officials Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, who have clashed with bank staff members during Wolfowitz's tenure.
Bush's friend Wolfowitz admits abusing his position as head of World Bank
Paul Wolfowitz has now admitted using his position to install his girlfriend, herself a wealthy Jewish Zionist, in a top job within the US State Department. He also got her an excessive pay rise, but previously "denied that he was involved in the decision".
Wolfowitz also gave the top positions around him at the World Bank to his own circle of friends, all prominent Zionists and neoconservatives, rewarding loyal contacts who had been "deeply involved" in intelligence and decisions on Iraq. Hard-working World Bank employees who were properly qualified for these jobs found themselves excluded from the new inner-circle, and some of them had the courage to speak out.
These abuses of power are typical of the endemic corruption among the ruling elite, but this particular case has sinister implications for the US regime and major international institutions, raising serious questions about whose interests senior officials are really serving, especially when the agenda closely follows the interests of Israel.
Wolfowitz was appointed as president of the World Bank by his close friend George Bush, the US President, who calls Wolfowitz by his nickname "Wolfie". Before he got that job, Wolfowitz was Deputy Defense Secretary under Donald Rumsfeld. Wolfowitz is an influential Jewish neoconservative, and a prominent pro-Israel Zionist, who "advises" the US regime on strategy and key decisions, like which country to attack next.
The so-called "World Bank" operates like an elabourate bribery racket, handing out huge sums of money to poor countries in return for certain conditions. There is always something in it for western governments and corporations, and the politicians and businessmen involved are often connected.
But the beleaguered bank president was immediately confronted by one of his top deputies, who asserted that Mr. Wolfowitz was wrong to think that the furor over his leadership sprang only from his handling of the pay and promotion for his companion or from unease over his support of the Iraq war while at the Pentagon.
Graeme Wheeler, the bank’s managing director, said at the meeting that the fight over whether Mr. Wolfowitz should stay on at the bank amounted to the “the biggest crisis in its history.”
He said it arose from a range of issues, including fears that Mr. Wolfowitz and his aides were trying to impose Bush administration ideas on family planning and climate change at the bank and worries over a possible conflict of interest in the bank’s hiring of a Washington law firm, Williams & Connolly, to investigate leaks. A partner at the firm had earlier negotiated Mr. Wolfowitz’s employment contract with the bank.
BRUSSELS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for the resignation of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who was accused of approving a high-paying promotion for his girl friend.
By 332 votes against 251, the European Union assembly added a paragraph to a resolution on next week's EU-U.S. summit, calling on Germany, currently holding the presidency of the 27-nation bloc, and the United States to ask Wolfowitz to step down.
They should "signal to the president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, that his withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the bank's anti-corruption policy from being undermined," the paragraph said.
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- European governments will let Washington choose the next World Bank president if Paul Wolfowitz resigns voluntarily, a published report said Tuesday.
European officials earlier said they wanted to end the tradition of having the United States pick the top job of the global poverty-fighting institution.
But they are now changing their position in the hope Wolfowitz will resign of his own accord rather than wait for censure or dismissal, The New York Times reported.